The Navatek is not your normal boat. When it was built (and in many ways even to this day) it stood on the absolute pinnacle of maritime technology. It is a SWATH style vessel which is a design that is essentially a cross between a hydrofoil and a catamaran. However, the best part about this boat is the stability system.
From the top the boat almost looks like it has four hulls, one at each corner. In actuality front and back hulls on both sides are connected with a large tube that looks like a giant torpedo. Inside this tube lie the propeller shafts and the ballast chambers. The ballast chambers in this vessel are amazingly effective. There is a computer that controls a system of pumps that "react" to changes in the water by pumping water into or out of the ballast chambers. This system works remarkable well. During the point of our trip when we got on the other side of Diamond Head the wind picked up and the seas became rather choppy.
I decided that this would be the ideal time to "test" the stability of the boat, so I put my drink down on the table and carefully looked at the surface of the liquid to see if it was going side to side at all, I couldn't see any movement. When we were seated for dinner we were placed in the premium "window" seats, I think that this upgrade was well worth it and would recommend it to anyone else that goes on this trip. As the Captain eased the boat out of the harbor our waitress came by with our first round of cocktails.
Just as I was enjoying my first sip the boat rounded the break wall at the mouth of the harbor and the entire Honolulu/Waikiki coastline came into our view. The skyline of Honolulu is in my mind one of the most picturesque city skylines in the world. It has the majority of its buildings down by the shore with giant green tropical mountains that rise up behind them. Then, just as the mountains come down to meet the ocean the peak of Diamond Head rises up to meet them. It is really quite an amazing spectacle.
It was not long before our waitress came over to the table and invited us up to the buffet. I piled my plate high with food and then made my way by the bar to pick up another drink on my way back to the table. Right as I sat down I noticed that the sunset was beginning to turn the sky a bright salmon color, a perfect backdrop for our meal. Right about the time we were done with our meal they started the show. The dancers were great, but I was most impressed by the musicians. At one point during a break between the sets I asked the main guitar player if I could set up a microphone to record his music to use in my video. He happily agreed so I set up one of my wireless microphones on the table next to him.
Unfortunately, the power switch of my microphone had been flicked on somehow in my camera bag and there was barely enough power left for it to record even a whole song (which was very disappointing). The show continued into the evening until we eventually made our way back to the harbor. As we got off the boat I looked up and saw that it was a clear night and the stars were shining very brightly in the sky... a magnificent evening!
The morning we went on the Body Glove I woke up and looked out the window and was delighted to see that there was not a breath of wind in the sky and the ocean was completely calm...... Perfect weather for snorkeling!
This morning we checked in for our days snorkel excursion down at boat ramp at Keauhou Bay, which is located on the southern end of Kona Town. As we pulled into the parking lot we could see the large blue shape of the Fair Wind II tied up to the pier.
There are few places on earth that have a landscape as diverse as the one you will find on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Big Island contains almost every kind of climate zone on earth (11 of the 13 to be precise).
Today we went out on a smaller sized sailing catamaran named the "Kamanu". We met the boat down at Honokohau Harbor to check in for the trip. As I entered their office I noticed some amazing pictures of Manta Rays on the walls that the receptionist told me were taken on the evening "Manta" snorkel, I was impressed.
After spending most of the day down in Kona snorkeling we had worked up quite an appetite. During the drive up to Waikoloa all I could think about was the huge luau buffet that was waiting for us once we got there.
When we pulled into the parking lot at the Keauhou Bay we could immediately see that the day's ocean conditions were absolutely perfect for kayaking. We selected our two person kayak from a group of kayaks that were lined up on the shore.
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